This morning we headed off for Mindo a town in the cloud forest. But we were down 2 people Tyson wasn't feeling well and Tammy stayed home with him. We hadn't gone to far when our driver asked if we wanted to see a volcano crater. Pululahua volcano has been dormant for about 2500 years, and is a awesome view point. Miguel and I took our picture together, since most people don't believe we travel together as we are seldom in pictures together.
Back on our way to Mindo, the higher we climbed the cloudier and foggier it got. We soon found ourselves in Mindo, famous for bird watching, butterfly's, orchids and the cloud forest.
We started out with a trip to see some orchid's and butterfly's. Not all of the flowers pictured here are orchid's, but they were in the garden too.
The owner of this particular place also raises butterflies, which in spanish are called Mariposas.
These first couple of pictures are of the eggs and caterpillars before they become butterflies.
The large caterpillars turn into Owl Butterflies. So called because the markings on their wings look like an owl's eye.
He also had some hummingbirds and a pair of geese in his garden.
To Vaughn and Miguels delight, Mindo has a chocolate factory. Its relatively new, so we headed off for a tour.
They are unable to grow Cacao beans here in Mindo, its too wet. The beans come from Porto Quito an area on the coast. But they do grow lemongrass, ginger, coffee beans, and chili's which they mix into the chocolate to create different flavours that they sell.
In the garden was this massive head of cabbage that I had to take a picture of.
At the end of the tour we got some samples of the chocolate they produce and of course bought some to bring home.
After stopping for lunch and having the typical plate - comida tipica. Which was a bowl of chicken vegtable soup followed by a plate with chicken, rice and fried plantains all for $2.50. We headed off to see some waterfalls and for a ride in the Tarabida. Which turned out to be little more than a metal box with seats on a cable that zipped you across a large deep gorge. The power came from an old truck engine, which was sitting in a little shack, with a guy working the gas and brake.
Once on the other side we did a short hike to a waterfall, there were several but it was getting late and we still needed to drive back to Quito.
Back across the Tarabida we went, and started the trip towards home. One of the activites we didn't do, was tubing down the Mindo river on inner tubes tied together a group seven tubes.
Back at home we found dinner ready for us and Tyson was feeling much better. Its was to bed early for all of us, as Kaytlyn was heading back home tomorrow and needed to be at the airport early.